At the formation of the company on the 6th September 1981, Midland Red (North) Limited inherited 121 Leyland Nationals from the Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC). These carried standard National Bus Company “Poppy Red” livery with a white band above the windows, which displayed the local MAP area brand name.
The management of the newly formed company believed the image of the old Midland Red had been tarnished in the eyes of the public during the late 1970s, and wished to create a new image for Midland Red North that distanced themselves as much as possible. The decision was taken to focus upon the local identities, which had been created in the area by Market Analysis Project (MAP) schemes between 1978 and 1980. Each brand name received its own colour coding, which replaced the white NBC band on buses, and the area brand name was shown on this in white. While the NBC “double–N” logo and poppy-red livery remained, the name “Midland Red” disappeared completely, except for legal lettering.
Colour coding for the local areas were: